70 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

You should read The Silmarillion after reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. To start off with an analogy: The Silmarillion starts on such a gigantic scale that if you begin with it everything ...
Voronwé's user avatar
  • 749
26 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

Voronwë's answer is excellent, but I'm going to post the answer I was planning to anyway. LotR is a gripping tale; the Silmarillion is more like a textbook or encyclopedia. This is a slight ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
17 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

Another point that hasn't been mentioned. The Silmarillion has a summary of the Lord of the Rings as its final chapter, "Of the Rings of Power and The Third Age". It is a full summary of LoTR and ...
BoredBsee's user avatar
  • 279
16 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

I would agree with the posters saying: first LotR (to enjoy it fully, and it is an easier read, and the huge scale of the Silmarillion events will not "dwarf it down"). But not in your specific case. ...
Olivier Dulac's user avatar
12 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

You are asking two different questions here, one in the title ("should I read the Silmarillion before or after LotR?") and one in the text ("what would be the upside to reading the Silmarillion before ...
CR Drost's user avatar
  • 229
8 votes
Accepted

Have any Elves explored Rhûn or the lands to the east?

They probably had at least some contact with those lands. Dorwinion is a land adjacent to the Sea of Rhun, at least according to this map by Pauline Baynes: And the Elves of Mirkwood, at least, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.6k
7 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

I would agree that the Silmarillion should be read after the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, but for quite a different reason than everyone seems to be espousing. For me, when I finished the Hobbit,...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
6 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

I read the books in the chronological order of the story, that is, the Silmarillion, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, and I would recommend this order - although maybe not for all readers. The ...
Pere's user avatar
  • 227
5 votes
Accepted

What essentially does Tolkien mean by "Fall, Mortality and The Machine"?

There’s a lot to unpack here, as you might imagine when an author tries to sum up his life’s work in three words. Fall By “fall” Tolkien means “descent or lapse into a sinful state”. This idea comes ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
4 votes
Accepted

How do the Silmarils solve the puzzle of the Sampo?

I believe Shippey meant that this may have been Tolkien's goal at the beginning, but like Tolkien's other "solutions" he seems to have abandoned it as the story grew in the telling. Tolkien's conceit ...
Joshua Engel's user avatar
  • 5,098
4 votes

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

I had read the Hobbit and LotR before Sil, and still didn't care for it. After reading LotR again, I recognized that some of the off-hand references made were recorded fully in Sil. I read that again, ...
Samantha Wiggens's user avatar
2 votes

If Sauron made The One ring, why couldn't he just make another, even better, instead of searching for the first?

Gandalf says that Sauron put “a great part of his own former power” into the One Ring when it was forged: “So it is now [said Gandalf]: the Nine he has gathered to himself; the Seven also, or else ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.9k
1 vote

What essentially does Tolkien mean by "Fall, Mortality and The Machine"?

A nice bit of scholarship. I haven’t read the books of the Professor’s letter so perhaps my views are limited by that. I had always considered that it is important to note Melkor’s motivation as not ...
Glen Dickey's user avatar

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